So it's been six weeks.

Back on the 16th of April, I decided to undertake an experiment. The idea was to try to focus more of my attention on my wife and less of my attention on my other friends, as she was feeling ignored. As a result, I decided to try avoiding social media and text messaging with my friends until we go to Anaheim. That meant avoiding Facebook and Twitter entirely, ignoring the e-mail address that those link to (a benefit of having purpose-based e-mail addresses), disabling the iMessage system on my iPhone (thus avoiding the ability to send messages without a record on the phone bill), and refraining from messaging and e-mailing friends other than Jennilee.

For the record, it hasn't worked quite like I had thought. I have had some messaging with Joyce, who is unique among my friends (other than Jennilee) in that I've actually physically seen her in the last six weeks (a function of being both a work colleague and a neighbor). Aside from that, though, I think I've held up my communication hiatus.

How's it going?

Two nights ago, Jennilee was looking at social media on her phone. "I just wanted to check on my Tumblr," she said; "it's been a while." When I said I thought she was just on there the previous day, she said, "That was yesterday morning; I didn't check again the rest of the day, and many of the folks on my feed are rather prolific posters." Wow, do I NOT miss that. Not that I have a Tumblr account (or Google+ or Instagram or whatever the last three fad services were), but the idea that <>, yeah, totally don't miss that.

What do I miss? Tough to say. I do still have moments where I have thoughts or ideas that I'd like to share with or confide in certain people, and I just have to ... not. It's not really a big deal, at least not as big as I would have suspected six weeks ago.

Is the experiment doing what it was intended to do? That's imposible to answer, since it's an experiment; its outcomes are what they are supposed to be, irrespective of what they might have been planned to be. Jennilee (who did not approve of this experiment to begin with, largely out of a fear from a previous relationship that my friends would turn on her for being controlling, which is poppycock but still how she feels) seems ambivalent on whether we've been any closer the last six weeks. She does feel somewhat suffocated when I share things with her (news articles and the like) that I might otherwise send to other friends or post somewhere.

I don't miss all of that as much as I would have thought. It's not like my friends aren't busy people and don't have better things to do than be pestered by me anyway; it's been a fact of life for as long as I've had adult-level friends that my friends are busier than I am, and the one time when that really wasn't true (when I was too busy to invest in those relationships) I functionally lost a longtime friend as we drifted. If I actually lose friends this year because I'm not on Facebook for a nine-week stretch, there should be serious questions about the caliber of friends I keep anyway. Of course, some folks (Jennilee included) have questioned my caliber of friends, and expressed dismay that I don't have more local friends, that I need to go out and fix that. You all know I don't work like that, and I never will. (If that means in your mind I need therapy, I respectfully disagree, and I know many of my friends (and relatives) support me in that.)

So, you're probably thinking that if I make this post here, that it violates the experiment. Not really, since I never visit or post here anymore anyway; I have no idea who might be in the audience, and frankly it doesn't much matter.
New Jersey

And so it begins anew.

It's been a while. I'm going to see if I can keep up this year.

You know the drill. See your logo 16 times, earn the Cup. European style this year: home team first.

Wednesday, 11 April:

Pittsburgh 3, Philadelphia 4 (OT)
Nashville 3, Detroit 2
Vancouver 2, Los Angeles 4
New YorkNashvilleLos Angeles
Philadelphia leads series 1 game to 0
Nashville leads series 1 game to 0
Los Angeles leads series 1 game to 0

Thursday, 12 April:

New York 4, Ottawa 2
Boston 1, Washington 0 (OT)
St. Louis 2, San Jose 3 (2OT)
Phoenix 3, Chicago 2 (OT)
New YorkBostonSan JosePhoenix
New York leads series 1 game to 0
Boston leads series 1 game to 0
San Jose leads series 1 game to 0
Phoenix leads series 1 game to 0
New Jersey

Quest For The Cup

LegendHome Team Logo
Shown For Games
Game/Series Completed
Won By Higher-Seeded Team
(Eastern Conference)
Game/Series Completed
Won By Higher-Seeded Team
(Western Conference)
Game/Series Completed
Won By Lower-Seeded Team
(Eastern Conference)
Game/Series Completed
Won By Lower-Seeded Team
(Western Conference)
Not Completed
If Necessary

Collapse )


I remember CBS ran a show called "Heartland", about which a big deal was made because it was supposedly the first prime time network TV show set in Nebraska. TV Guide had a piece at the time about the then-seven states which had not been so honored; this had to have been before 1990, because Alaska was on the list.

It's dismaying to try to reconstruct a list for the remaining states for three main reasons:
  1. TV? What's that? (I haven't watched first-run TV in seriously 15 years.)
  2. Where was that set? (Many shows I've seen, particularly but not limited to westerns and soap operas, I have no idea where they were set.)
  3. But that state's huge! (It's embarrassing when I can't, off the top of my head, come up with a show for a state with more than 15 electoral votes.)
Me (1994)


There's a theme here.

Monday I generated a Genius playlist based off The Manhattan Transfer's "Birdland". A couple tracks that hit surprised me, more because I hadn't heard them in ages, including Joshua Kadison's "Picture Postcards From L.A.". I went looking for more, and I discovered my phone was missing a lot of tracks from certain albums. I fixed that last night, and now I have five particular albums swirling in a playlist.

  • Joshua Kadison -- Painted Desert Serenade
  • Marc Cohn -- Marc Cohn
  • Martin Page -- In The House Of Stone And Light
  • Bruce Hornsby and The Range -- The Way It Is
  • Don Henley -- The End Of The Innocence

I'm not sure what the theme is. I feel like I should send it to witchy1.

  • Current Mood
    nostalgic nostalgic

Doing My Homework

Well, you know, if I want my 107 students to do Project 1 and actually do their own research to get the most out of the project, I really should be willing to do the same.

I am considering buying a car sometime in the near future, and I would like to have some idea of how feasible a purchase would be for me. I have read your Auto Loan Rates page, but it only lists the minimum rate. I suspect I would not qualify for the minimum rate, so I would want to know what my rates would be.

I would like to purchase a new vehicle with MSRP of $19425. I would like to know what interest rates I could expect for a 48-, 60-, or 72-month loan.

I also understand that there are certain loan discounts which could be applicable. The vehicle I am looking at is EPA SmartWay ceritfied with 39 MPG Highway, I am an Illini Advantage PLUS accountholder, and I would configure automatic payments on my loan; I believe each of those three would entitle me to a ¼% discount on the loan rate.

(I have two reasons for this request. One is that my 17-year-old car is dead and that my wife's 9-year-old car is not in outstanding condition, and we really would like to look at buying a new vehicle. The other is that I teach a General Ed math course at Parkland, and I'm asking my students to do a project right now involving some of the consumer math that we have covered. This is exactly the type of thing I am suggesting to my own students to research, so it would be appropriate if I did the same.)

Thank you for your assistance.
Computer Science

The need for speed.

Jenni said that Comcast mucked about with our internet speeds, and we were supposed to power-cycle our modem.


I figured once I did that, I ought to run some speed tests. Apparently if I want to show off, I should hit the Flash test server in Toronto.

Speed Test #97722628 by dslreports.com
Run: 2011-07-09 11:25:04 EST
Download: 6609 (Kbps)
Upload: 3455 (Kbps)
In kilobytes per second: 806.8 down 421.8 up
Tested by server: 56 java (Parsippany, New Jersey)
User: 2 @ dslreports.com
User's DNS: comcast.net
Compared to the average of 989 tests from comcast.net:
* download is 43% worse

Speed Test #97722648 by dslreports.com
Run: 2011-07-09 11:27:19 EST
Download: 23643 (Kbps)
Upload: 1243 (Kbps)
In kilobytes per second: 2886.1 down 151.7 up
Latency: 17 ms
Tested by server: 68 flash (Chicago, Illinois)
User: anonymous
User's DNS: comcast.net
Compared to the average of 990 tests from comcast.net:
* download is 103% better, upload is 64% worse

Speed Test #97722706 by dslreports.com
Run: 2011-07-09 11:33:49 EST
Download: 5573 (Kbps)
Upload: 3639 (Kbps)
In kilobytes per second: 680.3 down 444.2 up
Tested by server: 54 java (Los Angeles, California)
User: 2 @ dslreports.com
User's DNS: comcast.net
Compared to the average of 991 tests from comcast.net:
* download is 51% worse, upload is 5% better

Speed Test #97722733 by dslreports.com
Run: 2011-07-09 11:35:31 EST
Download: 3878 (Kbps)
Upload: 746 (Kbps)
In kilobytes per second: 473.3 down 91 up
Latency: 34 ms
Tested by server: 5725 flash (Washington, District of Columbia (Virginia))
User: anonymous
User's DNS: comcast.net
Compared to the average of 992 tests from comcast.net:
* download is 66% worse, upload is 78% worse

Speed Test #97722753 by dslreports.com
Run: 2011-07-09 11:37:04 EST
Download: 7768 (Kbps)
Upload: 904 (Kbps)
In kilobytes per second: 948.2 down 110.3 up
Latency: 29 ms
Tested by server: 5726 flash (Denver, Colorado)
User: anonymous
User's DNS: comcast.net
Compared to the average of 993 tests from comcast.net:
* download is 32% worse, upload is 73% worse

Speed Test #97722793 by dslreports.com
Run: 2011-07-09 11:41:09 EST
Download: 22514 (Kbps)
Upload: 10297 (Kbps)
In kilobytes per second: 2748.2 down 1256.9 up
Boost: 650156
Latency: 177 ms
Tested by server: 5685 flash (Toronto, Ontario)
User: anonymous
User's DNS: comcast.net
Compared to the average of 995 tests from comcast.net:
* download is 94% better, upload is 198% better

  • Current Mood
    awake awake

And then there were none.

I've known this entry would come. I've thought about it a few times in the last few weeks, the fact that some morning soon I'd have to write it.

It's kind of embarrassing, now, that I have so little to say.

We saw my grandmother twice last month. We saw her at home on Mother's Day, and then on a Saturday two weeks later in the hospital. She was doing well both days; we picked two of her good days of the roller-coaster that has been her last six weeks or so.

The last thing she said to me as I left was, "I love you, Jason." I think she suspected she might not get to see me again; I suspected the same.

I have been privileged in my life to have known all four of my grandparents, as well as one great-grandparent. Grandpa (Weldon Nelson Nygren) died in March 1989 at age 68, when I was 12; he's the only one I never knew as an adult. Papa Joe (Joseph George Benda) died in March 2003 at age 85; Grandma JJ said at the time that she didn't want to live as long as he had. Grandma Jeff (Daisy Fay Jeffery), Grandma JJ's mother, died in February 2005 at age 93. Grandma (Ruby Nygren) died in December 2005 at age 80. Grandma JJ is the last to go, in June 2011, four weeks short of her 83rd birthday.

I feel like I'm writing an obituary to say she's survived by all six of her children, 11 (or 14, depending on who is counting) grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. It's still true.

Now is not the time to think about the future, the family politics that will by year's end shape the future in ways we do not yet know. Nor is it time to dwell on the past. Our family's matriarch has done all she can, and now she has left us. Her legacy lives on, of course, in each of us. We would never be who we are without her.

She did a good job.
  • Current Mood
    sad sad